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Bought wife a broken tradmill, help me redeem myself!

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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Hi all, new here. I saw a great "deal" sitting on the side of the road, an older (1994) Vitamaster treadmill for $50. Got it home, plugged it in and it ran for about 10 seconds, until I tried to increase the incline. I ran it to the highest incline setting and it got stuck there, then the belt stopped.

I pulled the top cover and went through the trouble shooting in the manual, seems like the controller is stuck sending an "up" signal to the incline motor. Even at full incline the motor is powered in the up direction, and the "up" light on the power source is always on.

About this same moment the belt stopped moving, well mostly. It will sometimes move a bit, but even at 10mph setting it barely moves at even a walking pace. According to the trouble shooting guide if the "up" light is stuck on I should tap the relay next to the "up" light, if that doesn't work (didn't) then replace the elevation assembly, then the power supply. I'm pretty certain the actual incline motor is good because while I was trouble shooting it would go into a cycle of up/down with the belt not running when it should have been.

I'm thinking its the controller or power supply because the incline motor seems fine, and the belt did run at proper speed for a short time when I first plugged it in.

The other problem is parts are NLA for this unit, Sears can get me the controller for around $200, but the motors and power supply are NLA....

Hoping someone here can help me get this thing running on a budget that makes sense. I have moderate electronics experience mostly with DIY fuel injections systems, so I can certainly handle following directions with a little guidance and patience.

Here is a link to the Sears page that has some PDFs from the manual and a parts list with diagrams: http://www.searspartsdirect.com/part...W/0886/1307600

TIA!
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Jan 21, 2010
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If it is safe to do so, see if the relay coil is energised or not. If it is, the controller is the problem. If it is not, the relay is the problem.

The fact that they suggest tapping the relay means that they have a history of relay problems. You might even consider just replacing it -- and perhaps with a higher quality one.
 

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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When I turn the machine on I can hear the "up" relay click, so I think the relay is ok, but it makes sense the controller sending the trigger to the relay would be the problem.

Is there a way I can bench test the motors and power source?

Thanks for the help!
 

TBennettcc

Dec 4, 2010
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How good are your soldering skills? How good are your troubleshooting skills? Do you know how to use a multimeter? How about some good pictures of what you're working with? The more information you give, the more likely someone will be able to suggest something.

Steve has asked you to see if the relay coil is energized or not. With a multimeter on the V+ setting (try AC first, then DC), put the red lead on one of the ends of the relay coil, and put the black on a ground in the circuit somewhere. Do you get a voltage reading when the relay is supposed to be energized?

...I ran it to the highest incline setting and it got stuck there, then the belt stopped....

Why did the belt stop? Did the belt get jammed? Did the motor get jammed? Or did it just stop turning? Is there still power to the motor? Is it possible to remove the belt from the motor while keeping the motor attached to everything else? Does the motor turn with the belt off?

...I pulled the top cover and went through the troubleshooting in the manual...

What manual? Is it online? Can you scan it and upload it somewhere, and link to it?

...then replace the elevation assembly...

What is the 'elevation assembly'? Do you have a schematic? A diagram? How is it supposed to work? What kind of circuitry is involved?

I visited the link which I think you posted (http://www.searspartsdirect.com/par...ts/Treadmill-Parts/Model-R8739MW/0886/1307600), but I'm not sure, since it looks like there's not a full URL in your first post. From what I can see, there doesn't appear to be any PDFs on that page, only a link from each page to "order parts that may appear on that page".

...or was it one of these?

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/brands-products/Vitamaster-Parts/Treadmill-Parts

In either case, I don't see much detail on any of those PDFs, especially detailed enough for diagnostics.

Can you provide crisp, clean, clear, up-close pictures of what you're trying to work with? The better the pictures are, the better the help you'll be able to get (most of the time, anyways). Post them to a Flickr or PhotoBucket account, and then link to the album here.

That's really all I can do with what you've given us so far.
 

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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Jul 30, 2011
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Thanks for the reply!

How good are your soldering skills?
decent soldering skills.
How good are your troubleshooting skills?
I think I have good trouble shooting skills. I moderate a forum dedicated to trouble shooting mechanical issues on BMWs
Do you know how to use a multimeter?
yes.
How about some good pictures of what you're working with?
see below
The more information you give, the more likely someone will be able to suggest something.

Steve has asked you to see if the relay coil is energized or not. With a multimeter on the V+ setting (try AC first, then DC), put the red lead on one of the ends of the relay coil, and put the black on a ground in the circuit somewhere. Do you get a voltage reading when the relay is supposed to be energized?
yes. With the machine plugged in I get .576ACV, and when I press the Power button it jumps to .758ACV



Why did the belt stop?
The motor dropped in power.
Did the belt get jammed?
no.
Did the motor get jammed?
no.
Or did it just stop turning?
It acts like the motor speed is turned down. It fluctuates but never goes faster than a slow walk.
Is there still power to the motor?
yes.
Is it possible to remove the belt from the motor while keeping the motor attached to everything else?
yes, but I don't believe the actual belt is contributing to this issue.
Does the motor turn with the belt off?
yes.



What manual? Is it online? Can you scan it and upload it somewhere, and link to it?
see below.



What is the 'elevation assembly'?
A vertically mounted motor with a screw drive that raises and lowers the belt bed.
Do you have a schematic?
see below.
A diagram?
see below.
How is it supposed to work?
The motor gets a signal to run forwads (up) or reverse (down).
What kind of circuitry is involved?
not sure the technical names, but it has components that go through the board and get soldered into position.

I visited the link which I think you posted (http://www.searspartsdirect.com/par...ts/Treadmill-Parts/Model-R8739MW/0886/1307600), but I'm not sure, since it looks like there's not a full URL in your first post. From what I can see, there doesn't appear to be any PDFs on that page, only a link from each page to "order parts that may appear on that page".

...or was it one of these?

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/brands-products/Vitamaster-Parts/Treadmill-Parts

In either case, I don't see much detail on any of those PDFs, especially detailed enough for diagnostics.

Can you provide crisp, clean, clear, up-close pictures of what you're trying to work with? The better the pictures are, the better the help you'll be able to get (most of the time, anyways). Post them to a Flickr or PhotoBucket account, and then link to the album here.

That's really all I can do with what you've given us so far.
Hope that answers your question enough to provide some insight. Below are pics of tthe unit I'm working with, and the trouble shooting pages from the manual that came with the unit.

Image.jpg

Image2.jpg

Image8.jpg

Image3.jpg

Image4.jpg

Image5.jpg

Image6.jpg

Image7.jpg









Here is the machine.
utf-8BSU1HMDAwNzQtMjAxMTA4MDItMTcyNS5qcGc.jpg


controller.
utf-8BSU1HMDAwNzMtMjAxMTA4MDItMTcyNS5qcGc.jpg


power source.
utf-8BSU1HMDAwNzEtMjAxMTA4MDItMTcyNS5qcGc.jpg

utf-8BSU1HMDAwNzAtMjAxMTA4MDItMTcyNC5qcGc.jpg


a schematic on the inside of the cover.
utf-8BSU1HMDAwNzYtMjAxMTA4MDItMTcyNi5qcGc.jpg


control panel.
utf-8BSU1HMDAwNzUtMjAxMTA4MDItMTcyNS5qcGc.jpg


Let me know if you need anymore info or pics.

I am fairly confident the problem is in the controller or power source, leaning more towards the controller. It would be best if it was the controller because that is the only part still available.
 
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TBennettcc

Dec 4, 2010
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Wow. I'm impressed. You managed to fit a lot of information into that post.

I don't exactly understand how the thing works, so let's try some things...

Please be careful! Take all necessary precautions! Assume all exposed wires / traces are at mains potential until proved otherwise!

Disconnect the three wires (purple/gray/blue) between the controller and the power supply. What happened? Test both boards for voltages on those pins.

With the power removed from the treadmill, perform a continuity check between the switch contacts of the 'UP' relay. Is there continuity, or no?

I think that's really all I can tell you at this point...
 

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
26
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Jul 30, 2011
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Wow. I'm impressed. You managed to fit a lot of information into that post.

I don't exactly understand how the thing works, so let's try some things...

Please be careful! Take all necessary precautions! Assume all exposed wires / traces are at mains potential until proved otherwise!

Disconnect the three wires (purple/gray/blue) between the controller and the power supply. What happened?
The power supply powers up as usual, and when the power button on the control panel is pressed the "up" circuit is energized.
Test both boards for voltages on those pins.
Those pins on the controller are all at 1.8ACV with the unit plugged in, and when the power button is pressed it goes to 2.5ACV. On the power source those pins are at .46ACV with the unit plugged in, power off, and there is no change when the power button is pressed.

With the power removed from the treadmill, perform a continuity check between the switch contacts of the 'UP' relay. Is there continuity, or no?
no, no continuity between contacts with the unit unplugged.

I think that's really all I can tell you at this point...

Thanks for all the help so far, this is exactly the kind of help I was looking for!
 
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akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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Bump, any suggestions on what to check next to confirm I need a new controller?
 

TBennettcc

Dec 4, 2010
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I haven't had much time to look at this lately. If you want, it would be really helpful to take those boards out, get as much wiring out of the way as possible, and take good, sharp, clear, in-focus pictures of the front and back of both boards.

Even better if you want to draw a schematic.

I'm used to working on things with my hands, especially this kind of stuff, so trying to troubleshoot things just by looking at a couple of pictures is a little difficult for me. I like to be able to follow the wires with my hands, get different view angles, etc.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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What are the results from the suggestions you've already had?
 

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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I haven't had much time to look at this lately. If you want, it would be really helpful to take those boards out, get as much wiring out of the way as possible, and take good, sharp, clear, in-focus pictures of the front and back of both boards.

Even better if you want to draw a schematic.

I'm used to working on things with my hands, especially this kind of stuff, so trying to troubleshoot things just by looking at a couple of pictures is a little difficult for me. I like to be able to follow the wires with my hands, get different view angles, etc.

ok, drawing schematics is a bit over my head, but I have removed the boards and taken some detailed pics. Hopefully this can show you something useful.

Power Source
IMG00084-20110808-1743.jpg

IMG00085-20110808-1743.jpg


Controller
IMG00086-20110808-1755.jpg

IMG00087-20110808-1755.jpg

IMG00088-20110808-1756.jpg

IMG00091-20110808-1804.jpg

IMG00092-20110808-1805.jpg

IMG00093-20110808-1806.jpg


Let me know any additional angles or pictures that may be of help, thanks again!
 

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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What are the results from the suggestions you've already had?

well, please correct me if I'm wrong but based on the tests TBennettcc has had me run I believe I have established that the relay is functioning correctly, pointing towards the controller sending the "up" signal any time it is energized.

detailed answers to his questions are in my quoted responses on pg1.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Jan 21, 2010
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You placed your answers in the quote and I ignored everything that was there (since it was a quote, right?)

I've fixed up your quoting and I may have a look later and see what I can see.
 

TBennettcc

Dec 4, 2010
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Just FYI, Steve, there's another post from akorcovelos (seventh post in the thread) in which he also replied to my questions in the quote. Not sure if you want to fix that one up, too.
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Thanks. I've fixed that one up too. He has provided a lot more information than I thought. (good job akorcovelos :))
 

akorcovelos

Jul 30, 2011
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Thanks! Sorry about the confusion, that's a bad habit I picked up somewhere, probably my own forum, lol.

I'm liking that it seems to be looking like the controller is the problem since that is still available from Sears. What else can I test to eliminate the power source as the problem?

Should I put power to the motors just to make sure they both run properly? How can I identify the circuit that controls incline on the controller? I assume if I found that circuit I could do a continuity test to make sure it's intact?
 

jackorocko

Apr 4, 2010
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$50 dollars for treadmill
$200 for new controller

I bet you could find another treadmill for $150 and not have to worry about this mess. :)

On another note, power the motors with the power supply, you will kill two birds with one stone.
 
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